Unit 3 Latin America

Exploring Our World: People, Places, and Cultures

Unit 3 Latin America

Latin America Vocabulary List

Unit 3 Flashcards Latin America

Unit 3 Matching Latin America

Unit 3 Vocabulary Activities Latin America

Unit 3 Hangman with Hints Latin America

Unit 3 Latin America Cornell Notes

Rags to Riches Latin America Physical Geography

Rags to Riches Latin America History & Cultures

Rags to Riches Latin America Today

Battleship Latin America

Unit 3 Latin America Fling the Teacher

Unit 3 Latin America Walk the Plank

Unit 3 Latin America En Garde

Unit 3 Latin America Penalty Shootout

Unit 3 Latin America Hoop Shoot

South America Map Practice

Central & South America Map Practice

Central & South America Beginner Quiz

Central & South America Advanced Beginner Quiz

Central & South America Intermediate Quiz

Unit 3 Latin America Grade or No Grade

Unit 3 Latin America Match-up

Unit 3 Latin America Practice Paper

Unit 3 Latin America Kahoot!

Meso-American Ballgame

Timezone X – Mesoamerica

Dig the Maya

Maya Math Game

Chapter 7: Physical Geography of Latin America

Chapter Overview

Latin America stretches from Mexico in North America to the southernmost tip of South America. Geographers divide the region of Latin America into three subregions: Middle America, the Caribbean, and South America, and each has a variety of landforms. Mountains are prominent features in many parts of Latin America. The Andes mountain ranges stretch along the Pacific coast of South America for about 5,500 miles (8,851 km). Mexico also has high mountain ranges along its eastern and western coasts with a high plateau between; it is part of Middle America, located where four tectonic plates meet, that has active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. Some islands of the Caribbean were also formed by volcanoes, some of which are still active. The Amazon Basin of South America is east of the Andes. It contains the Amazon River and the world’s largest rain forest.

Latin America has vast natural resources, but not all countries benefit from them. Political and economic troubles in some countries, coupled with remote locations, lack of development money, and the wide gap between the rich and poor, have kept much of the regions natural resources from being fully developed. Brazil has products from its rain forest and mineral deposits, and the country has built wealth based on these resources. Some Central American countries like Nicaragua and Guatemala have rich gold deposits but because of political conflict and lack of transportation cannot mine them.

Perhaps the best known feature of South America is its vast rain forest, located in a tropical wet climate. Its warm temperatures and heavy rains provide an ideal growing environment for exotic plants. However, Latin America also has a variety of other climate zones. Most of Latin America lies in the Tropics, the area between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Middle America, most Caribbean islands, and north central South America have a tropical dry climate. Temperate climates are found mostly in the parts of South America that lie south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Climates tend to be drier and cooler at the higher elevations in some parts of the Andes.

Exploring Our World: People, Places, and Cultures

Chapter 8: History and Cultures of Latin America

Meso-American Ballgame

Chapter Overview

Early peoples of Latin America include the Olmec of southern Mexico, the Maya of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, and the Inca of South America. The arrival of the Europeans in the 1400 and 1500s transformed the populations of these lands; the explorers settled the land, setting up colonial governments, and spreading Christianity among the Native Americans. They also used Native Americans as workers to grow cash crops. Eventually, European landowners brought enslaved Africans for labor.

Most Latin American countries were ruled by Spain or Portugal from the 1500s to the 1800s. Countries in Latin America fought for independence after two centuries of European rule. Many Latin American nations hoped their countries would become stable democracies with prosperous economies. Obstacles arose, however, including conflict over the role of religion in their society, boundary lines, tensions between the rich and poor, and leaders who often ruled as dictators. Difficult economic and political reforms in the 1980s helped strengthen many Latin American countries, but these changes were often harsh and turned many Latin Americans against dictators. During the 1990s, democratic movements succeeded in several countries.

Latin America has a high population growth rate, but resources are limited in many areas. Most people live in the moderate climates found along the coasts of South America or in the Mexico and Central America region. Many people move to the cities to find work. Today most Latin Americans live in growing cities. In South America, about 80 percent of people live in cities, but in Central America and the Caribbean, only about 65 percent are urban dwellers.

Latin America’s people include Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, Asians, and mixtures of these groups. Spanish is the most widely spoken language in Latin America, although Brazilians mostly speak Portuguese. Family life and religion are important to most Latin Americans. The food, arts, holidays, and celebrations in each country blend the traditions of its diverse peoples.

Exploring Our World: People, Places, and Cultures

Chapter 9: Latin America Today

Chapter Overview

Mexico is the second-largest country in Latin America by population and is the United States’s nearest southern neighbor. Its people and culture reflect the blending of Spanish and Native American populations over the centuries. Sports, religion, and celebrations reveal the influences of both cultures. Mexico is a federal republic like the United States; a strong president leads the national government. The country has three economic regions: the North, Central Mexico, and the South. In the North, farming and ranching are important activities, and the region also profits from rich mineral deposits. Fertile soil benefits agricultural products while large industrial cities also prosper in Central Mexico. In the central South, most people are subsistence farmers; the coasts along the South benefit from tourism. While the country’s economy is improving, Mexico still faces significant challenges from poverty, overcrowded cities, and environmental issues.

In Central America, crops such as bananas, sugarcane, and coffee are produced for export, but political conflict has held back the economies of some countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Costa Rica and Panama are Central American countries that have had stable governments and better economic growth.

Many of the island countries of the Caribbean face political and economic challenges as well. Some islands benefit from tourism, but people in Cuba and Haiti endure poverty as well as political conflict. Puerto Rico, compared to most Caribbean islands, has a high standard of living due to its status as a commonwealth of the United States.

South America’s countries are diverse both politically and economically. Brazil, the largest country in South America, has a high standard of living: it has valuable mineral resources and is one of the world’s leading producers of food crops such as coffee, oranges, and cassava. Argentina depends heavily on farming and ranching, and it is one of the most industrialized countries in South America. Despite its resources, Argentina’s economy has struggled. A few countries in South America, such as Venezuela and Colombia, have faced political and social conflict that hinder their economic development. Venezuela’s wealth of oil does not translate into prosperity for its people. Colombia has been weakened especially by illegal drug trade. Other countries such as Chile have had strong economic growth in recent years.